Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Will Howl



author’s note:

“Deep calleth unto deep.”
          --  Psalms 42:7


I WILL HOWL

The year began in a spring
and ended in the ocean

ended so as to begin again.

The year began when
a seal climbed from the bay
onto a wet black rock
and started to bark.

I could feel its swagbelly sound
echo in that deep place
--you know the place--so deep:
no matter how far back
you go
that place goes back
even farther.

Yet I kept going.

The most joyful work holds the pain of incompletion.

The year of which I speak
did not tear a calendar page.
That year was 360 days
of becoming something
only hinted at previously.

When imagining what might be
I can never imagine
how I will feel
    as what once was unreal
    becomes as commonplace
    as the relentless waves

    as what was once real
    becomes the occasional breeze
    that carries nostalgia.

Standing on the threshold shore,
I aid and abet
the theft of what
I once was.
At times,
aiding unknowingly.
At other times,
knowingly abetting.

I hope the memories will
explain themselves
when I’m atop the hill

the hill rising from the ocean.

But for tonight, I’ll have to make do
with howling at the moon.

Who knows--
maybe the slippery seal will answer
if I howl all the way to the ocean horizon,
to the clouds backlit by moon glow.

With each howl
I’ll remember how
the strings all broke
--one by one--
as they were plucked.

But now I’m solaced to know
they needed to snap
so that the negative end
and the positive end
could search for one another.

When all the strings
have mended, I will hold
an instrument made strong
through all the searching.

Yes, the break
--even when bonded--
will still be felt
but in feeling, I will celebrate--
I will dance,
I will play,
I will howl.


© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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